With the new year comes a promise of doing things that have been pushed aside in the past. For the fly fisherman, that could well mean trying that new walk-in lake you heard about ages ago but have never found the time to actual make the trip! Could this be the year? Once accomplished, I know I have never been disappointed so my wish for you in 2019 is that you will indeed find the time to visit that hidden fly fishing treasure.
But wishful thoughts are not meeting my immediate objective which is to provide you with the make-up of a fly that will catch fish. Seeing that January is a prime steelhead month, we will review a fly that did receive a touch on a recent trip with my 10 year old grandson to the upper Cowichan River's Spring Pool. It was the first time for him to try fly fishing so I felt it would be more of a learning experience for him rather than actually catching a Cowichan steelhead or brown trout. My trip to Vancouver Island during the 1st week of December was primarily to attend the life celebration for my friend Dave Upper's wife, Diane, at the Qualicom Beach Civic Center but, as always, tucked away in my vehicle were two fly rods, a Spey outfit and a single handed #8/9 steelhead fly rod.
Although the water was high at Spring Bar, making casting without tangling in bushes difficult, my grandson exceeded my expectation in trying both rods! Yes, we lost several flies to both overhead and shore-line trees, but it was greatly satisfying for me to see his enthusiasm at trying to make side casts under branches to reach productive water. The midday sun just made the water sparkle, joy enough just to be in that magical location! I did notice a few nearly spawned out Coho salmon and the occasional trout rise although I could not tell if brown or rainbow. I did make a few casts and on one received a strong pull but almost immediate release on a fly that should have a lot of promise. I will share that pattern with you, called the Egg Flapper fly.
This is a very easy fly to tie but first a couple of hints. Although pink yarn or chenille could be used for the tail, elastic or even thin foam strips should be used for more movement in the water. Even though I prefer clear monofilament for my tying thread, I have used thick black floss not only to form a short body but to cinch down the tail strips with less chance of cutting the material. Start by pinching the hook barb and slide a large plastic egg to near the hook eye. Next cut two pieces of pink elastic band or foam and secure just behind the egg with thick black floss. This not only makes a short fly body but holds the two elastic strips for the tail in place, slightly upright and trim just after the hook bend. Add a coat of cement to the short floss body and you have completed the Egg Flapper fly!
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